Letter and Petition From Joyce Gilley (5/26/14)



Hey Kim,

How’s everything with you?  I hope you’re doing well.  As you know, I didn’t have too much to say about the water crisis, but i have an update for you concerning the new food service provider.  We were wrong when we thought things would be better — they’re much worse now!

The new company was supposed to provide bigger portions and better food.  It didn’t happen.  The food portions are about the same as before, sometimes smaller.  Some of the meals look like there’s “slim pickins” going on — like they’re low on food.  And sometimes they serve old left-overs that aren’t fresh anymore.  One day i got sick — vomiting and diarrhea — i think it was food poisoning.  And we’re always finding things in our food — plastic, metal, bread ties!  It’s disgusting!

They don’t ever serve pure ground beef for hamburger meat — it’s really dark and stringy — tastes like liver — it’s gross!  In fact, I think we’re actually eating cow’s liver — or something from the nether regions of a cow.  I’d say it’s the equivalent of meat used to make cheap — really cheap — dog food.  I doubt if your dog Emma would eat it.  Even if she could stomach it, I wouldn’t recommend it.  It couldn’t possibly have much nutritional value.  It truly isn’t fit for human consumption.  We just call it “mystery meat” because we don’t know what it is.

Another thing that people don’t like is the tea they serve.  It tastes like a coffee/tea blend and is disgusting.  One woman called it “strange brew” and the nickname stuck so that’s what we call it now.  I won’t even let them put it in my cup because it leaves my cup smelly.

And they serve oatmeal 5 days a week!  I hate oatmeal!  Just seeing it on my tray makes me think of Oliver Twist or Little Orphan Annie.  The former company used to serve grits 2 or 3 times a week.  I actually like grits, but not this.

Also, they serve a lot of out-dated milk.  Most of us drink it because we don’t want to be hungry + thirsty later.  We never get enough to drink — no refills — and sometimes the slop they serve is not edible.  We have a lot of hungry ladies in here and i’ll bet the men are starving because they need more calories than we do.  By the way, I am NOT a picky eater so you can trust me when i say the food is gross and unacceptable.  For instance, one meal consisted of this really red colored rice — I think it was supposed to be Spanish rice.  But it was loaded with hot sauce or red pepper or something really hot — burned my mouth. They served some wilted salad that was floating in some gray-looking dressing.  It was gross.  It was a meatless meal served with green beans, 2 slices of bread, and a cookie. That was lunch.  By dinner everyone was starving.  (The portion of rice was about a cup or less.)

Lately, they’ve been serving a lot of mystery meat, and it’s still as gross as ever.  I keep wishing they would serve some chicken patties or fish — something they don’t have to create from “hell’s kitchen!”  I’ve even come up with a slogan, “Stop the slop!”  That means no more mystery meat, no more strange brew, and no more smelly left-overs to make people sick.

SCRJ really needs to buy some water filters for the faucets in the kitchen.  They serve boiled vegetable every day and they taste like “hard” water.  It tastes so bad that a lot of people don’t eat their veggies.  They need to stop serving food that nobody eats — it’s such a waste.  And they need to stop serving potatoes, rice, and vegetables without any salt or seasoning.  It’s bitter + gross.  Then, other times, they overcompensate by pouring tons of strange seasonings on the food.  At home I just need garlic salt or seasoning salt, but here I don’t know what they use.

I’m sending you this letter to get a message to the state Regional Jail Authority Executive Director, Joe DeLong.  I’m hoping you can find his address and let him know of my concerns about the new food service provider — TRINITY SERVICE GROUP.  Also, please let him know that i’m hoping he will cancel their contract — not give them a chance to clean up their act.  They’ve had plenty of time to do better and haven’t done it yet.  I doubt if they will ever improve.

And would you also notify the Kanawha County health dept. and let them know that this company needs to be investigated as soon as possible.  Please tell them to act quickly before more get sick.  Use this letter as a reference to let them know what’s going on here.  And tell Mr. DeLong you’re contacting KCHD.

Also, this is an open letter, so you may use this info in any way you see fit.  You may reproduce this letter and put it on the internet or edit it first, if you want.  The same goes for Mr. DeLong and KCHD — either send them a copy of this letter, or an edited version to let them know what’s happening.

And, of course, I’m asking everyone in the pod who agrees with me to sign this letter. Thanks for being there for us — for giving us a voice — and for being an advocate for us.


Joyce Gilley

Also signed by:

Stacy [illegible]
Octavia Payton
Kelley DeBonis
ShaQuana Jordan
Hally B Hally
Jessica Wilson
Ashley Movea
Christa Collier
A. Fisher
Lisa Goodnite
Alisha Shill
Tabitha [illegible]
Laura Joslin
Alicia Runyon
Margaret Morgan
Brittany Reed